DR Congo presidential election: Outcry as Tshisekedi named winner

 DR Congo presidential election: Outcry as Tshisekedi named winner

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won DR Congo’s presidential election, electoral officials say.

The announcement, made overnight, sparked accusations of an “electoral coup” from runner-up Martin Fayulu.

France said the figures did not match results collated on the ground by monitors from the Catholic Church.

The ruling party, whose candidate finished third, has not yet contested the result, sparking accusations of a power-sharing deal with Mr Tshisekedi.

It is an accusation Mr Tshisekedi’s team denies.

If confirmed, Mr Tshisekedi will be the first opposition challenger to win since the DR Congo gained independence in 1960. Current President Joseph Kabila is stepping down after 18 years in office.The capital Kinshasa and other key cities appeared calm on Thursday, but fears remain that the announcement of the result could trigger unrest. UN chief Antonio Guterres appealed for all parties to refrain from violence.In the early hours of Thursday the head of DR Congo’s National Electoral Commission (Ceni), Corneille Nangaa, said Mr Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote in the 30 December election and had been “provisionally declared the elected president”.The full results were, with turnout reportedly 48%:

Felix Tshisekedi – 7 million votes,Martin Fayulu – 6.4 million votes,Emmanuel Shadary – 4.4 million votes
The result can still be challenged.

What’s the reaction been?
Mr Tshisekedi vowed to be “the president of all DR Congolese”, saying: “No-one could have imagined such a scenario whereby an opposition candidate would emerge victorious.”

He struck a conciliatory tone with Mr Kabila when addressing supporters at his Union for Democracy and Social Progress party headquarters in Kinshasa.

“I pay tribute to President Joseph Kabila and today we should no longer see him as an adversary, but rather, a partner in democratic change in our country,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr Shadary, who had been Mr Kabila’s hand-picked candidate and was expected to win, accepted the defeat, saying “the Congolese people have chosen and democracy has triumphed”.

Ayomide Oyewole

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